Reading Interviews and Online Magazines
FCE Vocabulary: Natural English or Dictionary English?
After doing a few Use of English past paper tests, you probably wonder how much vocabulary you need to know to pass the FCE –with merit of course!
Let’s consult the FCE Handbook to clarify this point a little. The descriptor of the band 5 (maximum mark) of the FCE written assessment reads:
“Wide range of structure and vocabulary within the task set.”
What does this mean?
It is quality knowledge not quantity of words you should be after. That’s what it means.
Apart from knowing the structure of words; for example, what preposition follows certain verbs or adjectives, Paper 3 Use of English aims at testing set phrases and collocations rather than the meaning of individual words. You need to grasp the whole meaning of the phrase. To gain that knowledge it is important to come across words in context and then consult their dictionary meaning to check structural aspects.
Speak Up Magazine
This is a magazine I have read and enjoyed a lot while studying English. I still keep my collection of tapes from it. Luckily there is an online version from this Italian site:
It is probable the best starting point you can find to help you deal with different varieties of English in a number of contexts. Each recorded interview includes information about the nationality and accent of the speakers, which is essential to help you gain that spontaneous knowledge of the language when you haven't travelled much to English speaking countries.
Larry King Live
This site lists interviews shown since 2000. Finding out a bit about the interviewee will give you a clue as to their accent. If you are interested in other interviews from CNN go to: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/
This section of the Guardian newspaper includes talks with celebs and film directors.
Inside the Actors Studio
Pity the official site does not include transcrips! Here is a transcript from Anthony Hopkins interview:
If you would like to read interviews with your favourite actors, you are most likely to find them at:
BBC film interiews A-Z
Find an actor on the alphabetical list.
Last but not least....
Remember the purpose of your reading: you aim at collecting different contexts for words you probably know already.
Enjoy your reading!
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